This is important. Turn off your TV. Don’t visit five fucking thirty eight. Don’t check CNN every five minutes. You know that “election night” is a social construct, right? It’s an event contrived by television to fuel an obsession with minute-by-minute election returns, so that you’ll center your life for at least a day around watching advertising, just as all the media have turned elections into a horse-race monster where all that matters is who is ahead right this minute. That process culminates today and tonight in goddamn stupid election night parties and people spending their evening in the the glow of their TVs, listening to assholes making state-by-state predictions and pontificating on the “will of the American people” and solemnly declaring that one person ultimately has a “mandate”.
Don’t waste your time. Go play a video game or watch a movie or have sex or read a book or do your fucking grading or cook something delicious or go for a walk. Anything else. You’re fascinated with politics? Fine. Sit down and make a list of effective actions you can take, starting tomorrow. Plan your election strategy. Call up your local pols — it’s not as if they’re doing anything, they’re all glued to their TVs — and talk to them about policy.
Slap yourself out of the “event” mindset. This election is the result of years of accumulating bullshit, and it’s only going to be corrected by years of shoveling. If the less-evil guy wins, your hard work is just beginning. If the evil guy wins, well, you’re going to have to tear the whole system down, which is even more work, and you won’t get that done in a day and a night of listening to Jake Tapper yapping vapidly.
You voted. That’s your sole substantive contribution to politics today. Now do something else.
P.S. If you’ve already been roped into some election night waste-of-time, the only solution is to turn it into a drinking game. Bring a fifth of whisky and a fifth of tequila, and tell that annoying person who is making you suffer through this that they have to take a shot a) every time a loser from the primaries is asked to opine, b) every time they make a big show of changing the color of a state on a giant map, c) whenever the say the words “too soon to call”, and d) there is a lull in the incoming data that they fill with a network airhead babbling his opinions. If the network brings on some wretched evil dinosaur like Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, or Rick Santorum, you have to chug until they’re off the screen, or you lose consciousness. Your night will be mercifully brief, I promise.